Monday, July 16, 2012

Job - Help for the Hurting

“so I have been allotted months of futility,
    and nights of misery have been assigned to me.
When I lie down I think, ‘How long before I get up?’
    The night drags on, and I toss and turn until dawn.”  Job 7:3-4
“And now my life ebbs away;
    days of suffering grip me.
Night pierces my bones;
    my gnawing pains never rest.”  Job 30:16-17

Sound familiar?  Researching the history of fibromyalgia you will often find references to Job possibly being the first recorded sufferer.  I hadn’t heard anything about this before I began investigating this syndrome, and I have studied the book of Job a few times.

Most commentators agree that Job is the oldest book in the Bible, possibly written soon after the flood of Noah, many years before Moses penned the Torah (first 5 books of the Bible).  Job was a righteous and wealthy man.  Satan approached God with a challenge, that when all good things were taken away from him, Job would blame God and turn from Him.  Satan is given approval to prove his theory and all of Job’s wealth is taken away, his ten adult children are killed and he is afflicted with illness.  Why does God allow us to suffer?  Three of Job’s friends show up to try and make sense of what was happening to this Godly man.  Job never wavers in his faith and worship of God.  Then, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe speaks to Job about who He is.  A Living, Loving, Personal God, active in all facets of His creation.  Job is found to have passed this test and God blesses him, giving him twice as much as he had before.  More wealth, more children, and although the text doesn’t mention his health, the fact that people once again were not afraid to be around him, and the fact that he lived happily for 140 years after these events, leads me to believe he was healed.

As I read more of Job’s own description of his afflictions and looked back to the beginning of the story,   “So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head.”  Job 2:7, I can’t help but doubt that fibromyalgia is what was ailing him.  In my opinion whatever it was, was horrible and included open sores (boils) that would explain his physical torture.  However, even if Job didn’t suffer from fibromyalgia, those of us that live with pain can turn to this book for comfort, answers and hope.

“There is great news to those who have lost possessions, for those who have lost position and for those who have lost health.  God is near, God is in Love with you and God is in control.  It is a huge challenge, but the truth is that the God who directs each and every lightning bolt is in control of the situation.  Nothing that has happened in a life, as tragic as it is, is a surprise to God, nor was it beyond His capability to stop it.  The good news is that God is so capable that He can not only manage, but also direct the life of each individual in such a way that measured in the eternal scheme of things, a perfect plan unfolds that is best for the person and brings glory to God.  The life of the hurting is in the powerful and loving hand of the Creator and has His laser focus and undivided attention.” (193-194) God’s Science Quiz, Dr. Gary Sutliff.

I invite you to study The Book of Job for yourself and pray that you find comfort in it as I have.

For further study into the science in Job, you can pick up my Dad’s book on the subject!

And watch this video by Chuck Missler - 
God's Science Quiz to Job.

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